Thursday, December 24, 2009

Cookies, cards and people like me...

We have been the recipient of many holiday cards and cookies. All of which are greatly appreciated. They really are. But what makes me feel crummy is wondering if people I have sent cards to in the past are wondering why I didn't send THEM a card this year. And the answer is... I didn't send any cards this year. Not one. Not a single one. Nor did I bake cookies.
But so many of you have been in my thoughts and on my mind, really you have been. I just didn't get around to it.
What I do want to share though, is THE BEST COOKIE RECIPE EVER.
EVER.
And if you want, just pretend I made them and brought them to you along with some holiday wishes.
Enjoy!
Frosted Walnut Pumpkin Cookies from Cooks.com Just follow the link to heaven:
www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1813,147176-249199,00.html

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bad habits/good times!

I know, know know this is a bad idea, but I do it anyway. I have fallen into the habit of letting Caroline sleep with me on non-school days. Again, yes, I know this is a bad idea but she loves it and honestly, I love waking up and seeing her face next to me. She always wakes chatty and in the best mood. And some days, she wakes up and sings me a song. What's not to love about that?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

'Twas the week before Christmas...

I should be cleaning my house

It's our year to host Christmas

The family of my spouse

The stockings are hung

By the chimney with care

But our dog Brook, RIP, hers is not there

Our first Christmas without her

It's been bittersweet

Remnants of her fur on the tree skirt I didn't sweep

The boxes have been delivered

By Amazon with care

Knowing I don't have it in me to brave the holiday crowds out there

It's Tessa's last year here

Full time in our care

Next year will be college

Tears stay away

Damn you, beware!

Caroline is so excited

Christmas at five

Littlest Pet Shop and Screature

Rank high on her list

Small plastic toys, you get the gist

I'm thankful for family, and for friends

Wishing that the childhood years could never end

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas

Kwanzaa and more

Here's looking forward to what 2010 has in store!

I gave up and left...


Do you ever realize that you need to confront things about yourself? Maybe something you realize in yourself as a weakness and know that you need to address?

I'm not sure why, but sometimes I am quick to give up and walk away.

At times, it seems easier.

Today I did it at the grocery store.

As I was passing through I saw a soup mix for a white bean soup.

This appealed to me, so I picked up the packet.

And the recipe was right up my alley.

I needed salt, water and a ham bone.

A ham bone?


Where on earth do I find a ham bone?

I honestly could not find one.

So I left.

With my soup packet.

Looks like this will be a vegetarian soup.

Maybe after dinner I'll address my shortcomings.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

I ain't too proud to beg!

Remember that song? OK, let's get down to biz-ness here. I need you. I need you to make me look good. All these years of free entertainment by me have culminated into my needing something from you.
And seeing as how it IS the holiday season and we should embrace the spirit of giving I'm going to ask for a little audience participation here.
I have submitted writing samples to two companies for freelance writing gigs for their websites. This is something that has been in the back of my mind for a while now, and I just happened to come across two good opportunities. One has already contacted me and it looks as if it is a go.
In order for me to be successful at this, I need readers. Commenters. Followers. Referrals. If I am able to make a successful go at this I will pull out all the stops to drive traffic to these sites and share what I have written. Are you with me? Trust me, the last two years of my goofy style of blogging will not come to an end. This is just a way to show off a little more of my journalistic polish and flair. Help a sister out here, ok? I promise not to let you down. There will still be tales of near- mishaps at the Canadian border, anatomically correct cheeseballs and woes of the mother of two. Don't worry. Link to my blog if you are a blogger, sign your self up as a follower, leave the occasional comment. And last but not least, feel free to vote in the upper left hand corner of the blog. Because once again, I ain't too proud to beg...

*Editing done by my cousin Ron. Thanks Ron, I wouldn't be where I am today without you!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to entertain your friends (and look like a hero)

Did you know that right here in Columbus several local store owners allow you to host your own private parties in their stores after hours?
Yep.
Bring in your own food and drink? Or in some cases have it provided for you?
Yep.
Ladies, I give you three AWESOME venues to have your next ladies night. Gather your friends, have some fun and leave the work to someone else.
1) Leal. If you've never been, Leal is one of the hidden gems of Columbus. It is a small boutique in Arlington located on Arlington Avenue. GORGEOUS pieces, and when something goes on sale, it is ON SALE. One of the best things you will find at Leal is the service. OK, and the selection. You will find things at Leal that you will never find at a mass retailer. A fun way to introduce yourself and your friends to Leal might be their Ladies Night Out. What do you have to lose? Invite ten friends and shop the night away! (If you invite me, that brings you down to nine invites...)
2) OK, so we've got the clothes covered. Now we need to get "un-covered." As in Undone. The best lingerie boutique in town. Without a doubt. And again, fantastic customer service. The ladies at Undone at just plain fun. I've had a few par-tays with girlfriends at Undone and never leave empty handed... Oh, they have some pretty sweet shoes, bags and accessories too!
3) So. You're looking good from top to bottom. Now, wouldn't it be great if your house smelled as good as you look? Thought so. Enter the Candle Lab. Fab.U.Lous. Love that place. Custom scented hand poured candles. And again, a great place for a Ladies Night. So after you look good, your place can smell good and you can...
Hey, I don't have ALL the answers. Some things you just have to figure out for yourself.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Takes the sting out...


You know, there are a lot of remedies for getting rid of the "sting" of pain. But what about verbal stings? You know, the kind that are quickly delivered and hit just in the intended spot and leave their own sting? You may not be able to see the red pin-prick from the verbal zinger, but that does not mean it isn't there.

And as parents, we sure would not let our children do this, so why do we do it to other people? Is it because we are adults that we think it is OK? Our defenses are better, our feelings more shallow? Not true.

I can tell you, my five year old recently hurt a friends feelings and told her to go home. And I can also tell you that once my daughters temper was dealt with that we walked to the other child's house to say "I'm sorry." But as adults, who holds our hand and helps us to do the right thing and say "I'm sorry"? Because without having someone to do so, it isn't always that easy.

I will also tell you that I was recently told by someone that I was not always nice to them. And it took years for that person to tell me that. And to that person, I'm sorry. I'm sorry for hurting your feelings, and I'm sorry I felt it was OK to not be as nice to you as I could have and should have been. That was wrong of me.

As we finish up our holiday shopping and wrap up the year, maybe we can stop for a moment and bite our tongues when lines seem too long and tempers flare. What seems OK to say or do one minute really won't matter in the next. And you never know whose feelings you may spare by doing so.

This segment of Deep Thoughts, brought to you by me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

On the 12th day of Christmas

My email gave to me...

1) Fun gift ideas starting at $25 and under PLUS free shipping from W Hotels Enter code M3T54 at checkout
2) 25% off your entire purchase at Talbots Enter "friends" at checkout
3) Take 20% off your order from Fans Edge. Perfect for your sports fans on your shopping list. Use code 20foryou at checkout.
4) 20% off Le Crueset and Calphalon cookware from Williams Sonoma.
5) My personal favorite- Free shipping and gift wrapping on any order from Shu Uemura. Shu Uemura has THE BEST eyelash curler ever! Use promo code WRAP at checkout.
6) 25% off and free shipping from Ann Taylor Loft. Promo code is GIFTS
7) Shade Clothing- Another one I love! Free shipping and an extra 25% off clearance/sale items.
8) Gymboree- 25% off EVERYTHING plus free shipping.
9) Bliss Spa- Free shipping over $25 AND 15% off Bliss purchases. Use code 129903
10) And last but not least, the MANY, many great deals on ebates. You can get 8% back on Sephora purchases!!! If you don't shop online using ebates that's just plain nuts! It's free and you get money back on purchases!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Santa...


Just in case you are wondering what I'd like for Christmas (other than world peace and for my family to be happy) I would like the following:


1) Automatic car starter (The only problem with this is that as of today, the remote car opener for my Volvo broke. Go figure. Like I need to lock that car anyway. Geesh.

2) DJ Hero OK. I know I'm a wee bit old for this one but for real yo. Can't you just see me spinning some mad tunes with my boys Eminem and Jay Z? I can TOTALLY see this happening.


What's on your Santa list this year?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sounds of the season...


Well, I have to admit that I have not been feeling very "bloggy." In fact, I seriously considered giving up the blog. But then I got to Caroline's school to pick her up and I heard music. Holiday music. The principal was practicing his tuba in the office. And I have no idea why, but it perked me up and I thought "I'd share that on my blog."
Yep. That is the best I have to offer right now.

Oh, but I guess I'll share this "Elf on the Shelf" story.
A few people I know had mentioned the "Elf on the Shelf" This is a little elf who is sent by Santa to visit your family during the holiday season and report back on who is naughty and who is nice.

We-ellll...... This bad momma didn't make the correlation between Caroline's complete and total paranoia of all things mascot-y, face-painted or the like. So the six inch elf on the shelf FREAKED HER OUT. She could not even walk past the elf. No way, no how. We had to hang a note on her bedroom door stating that the elf was NOT welcome in there. Nor was the elf to enter the bathroom. The elf lasted one night in our home, and Caroline requested that Santa come back and get his da*# little elf back. She woke up crying around 6 a.m. panicked about whether or not the elf was still there. He wasn't. Let me tell you, explaining to Barnes and Noble why I had to return their #1 listed seller the Elf on the Shelf was embarrassing! So, we are elf-less once again and are just plain old emailing Santa to let him know how all is going.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Luck and blessings...

As oft reported, it's been a very emotional year. Some things I have recognized as being emotional (Jordan moving and breaking my heart) and some things I may not have recognized as being as emotional as they may have been. (Returning home after 15 years) Tomorrow will be a day in which I feel both lucky AND emotional. Over the past several years I have become friends with an amazing group of girls. These girls have given me so much and I'm not sure I can ever repay the favor. They are all Mormon, and while the differences between us have never been an issue (I am not Mormon) they have inadvertently taught me so much. From the simple (I cuss less) to the more important (genuine friendship and a certain grace) they have enriched my life. I am lucky these girls came into my life. They have included me in so much. I have asked so many questions of them and their faith, and they have always been very open and honest in sharing with me. Tomorrow is a very special day. Two of my friends, Leah and Brittney each have new babies (Kate for Brittney and Jackson for Leah) that they are blessing tomorrow and I have been invited to be there. I can not tell you how much it means to me to be included in this. It is always an honor to me to be included in my friends lives, especially something so special. Looks like I will be crying again! But in a good way! Thank you my dear, dear friends for including me in this most special event! I am thrilled to be a part of your special day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Facebook... Bringing people together!


Go ahead and laugh. I believe that facebook is a valuable tool. I really do. Had it not been for facebook I would never have gone to my class reunion. I've never kept in touch with anyone, but through facebook have chatted with so many people as if no time has passed. People who in the past would never have spoken with one another encourage each other on a regular basis. It's interesting to me.

And through facebook I was able to reconnect with an old classmate. Steve. What's interesting about Steve is that he seems to be the most visited of all of our classmates. In China. No one visits me in Ohio, yet Steve has people looking him up in China.

And as we got closer to the reunion, my phone rang. With Steve on the other end! A friend from high school gave him my number. And laugh at me if you will, but I've never had an international phone call! OK, depending on how you look at it I've had restaurants in Canada call me to confirm dinner reservations while I'm there. Not sure that counts...

Well, Steve has some crazy important job in addition to being a husband, avid facebooker and father of two. Yet, he still had time to play technical support to me and teach me how to use my blackberry properly! Now that is a friend! Now, thanks to Steve I can use blackberry messenger! A lesson learned from across the world! I feel like a television commercial!

Now, if anyone needs a dinner suggestion in Shanghai, just let Steve know.

*Photo courtesy of Steve via blackberry messenger. Who knew???
**Another interesting Steve tidbit? If guys can be called BFF's, Steve is BFF's with Dan, my middle school swing choir partner. We had many, many dances to Lionel Richie.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

It hit me like a ton of bricks...




The tour.
Something I had looked forward to for months.
Possibly even more than the class reunion itself, I was excited to return to the halls of North Side along with a trip down Stadium Drive, my old street.
I should have known I was in trouble when we turned down the street and I felt like I had never been there. Half of the homes have been torn down to clear more land for the school.
On to the school, literally around the corner, at the end of the street.
This was a building where like my other 500 plus classmates, I spent the better part of my days for four years.
A majestic building facing the river.
At least it used to.
The entrance? Is now in the back of the building.
Which was hard to swallow, but it is what it is.
The journalism program? Room 113?
No more. Apparently, no one wants to read the paper, they just want to watch it on tv, hence the hi-tech media program now in place at the school.
Impossibly hard to swallow.
In an unrecognizable building, I realized that a mid-afternoon swim at the hotel would have suited me better.
Some things are better left in the past.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

More free stuff!

And really, who doesn't love that?

Free Aveeno Tote Bag
Free Luggage Tag
*The fun thing about the luggage tag was that it let me upload one of my own pictures for the tag and customize it with the information I wanted. Hopefully it comes in time for Christmas!
(Don't worry Tessa, it's not for you. I know you are tired of getting free stuff I get for birthdays and Christmas!)
Just click on either of the above links and they will direct you to the site with the free goodies.

All grown up...

It's been a whirlwind of a week, at least as far as thought processes and emotions go. In the days leading up to our class reunion, I got lucky in the fact that I was asked to take the Q&A forms and arrange them into a format where the information could be shared with everyone. And when I say I got lucky in being asked to do this, I really mean it. It meant a lot to me to be able to see where the years have taken so many of us, and how we got there.
It was amazing to me to see how many people were so candid with their answers, and how honest.
The spirituality was amazing.
If I were a different person, I would ask people "What makes you believe?"
The individuality was impressive.
The classmate I recognized without even seeing her face was candid as always. Refreshing.
The comfort level of being in our own skin. Priceless.
Meeting the children and babies of people I was a child with myself. Fascinating.
The feelings I got while touring my old school and driving down my old street...
That's for tomorrow.
Cliffhangers? So very 80's...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Free lifetime overnight shipping from Zappos!


Um, hel-lo? OK. I found the link to this deal on hey its free.net and thought this was worthy of sharing. Because you know, sharing is caring.

The deal is that if you sign up today before midnight you get a lifetime membership (no cost) to Zappos entitling you to free lifetime overnight shipping.


Don't forget, you only have until midnight!

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